Perched atop a cliff in Woody Creek, Colorado and overlooking the Roaring Fork River below, this new custom home was influenced by its site, the river, and Nordic customs and values. Menendez Architects were responsible for the architecture, interior architecture, interior finishes, and land use approvals. The owners, a retired couple with four grown children, had previously owned a condominium in Aspen, but wished to have a special house in which to gather with their family several times a year. An important component of their program is a sauna, which is at the heart of the home and represents a cultural connection—the wife is originally from Finland—for the entire family. Additionally, the property affords extensive river frontage for the husband, who is an avid fly-fisherman.
The 6,201-square-foot house is positioned to take advantage of the soothing sounds of the river and the interior rooms are oriented to capture the sun’s path during the time of day they are inhabited. The outdoor spaces increase in size proportionately to their use and have glimpses of the river through the heavily treed slope. Inside and out, large stone slabs are used as a wall veneer to represent the family’s history with a stone quarry and reinforces a connection with the naturally occurring granite boulders in the landscape and river. Every element of the design has been considered to create a place for meaningful physical and psychological respite and refreshment.